PWC Tops List Of 2020 Accounting Firms

PWC Tops List Of 2020 Accounting Firms
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In latest accounting 50 ranking, PWC remains #1 overall, Deloitte ranks #2, and mid-sized firms Plante & Moran and Schellman dominate quality of life categories

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New York, NY, (April 14, 2020) In the latest Vault Accounting 50, a ranking of the Best Accounting Firms to Work For based on a survey of more than 10,000 accountants, PwC maintains its No. 1 ranking. It also ranks No. 1 in Prestige, No 1. in all three Practice Areas (Audit & Assurance, Tax, and Forensic Accounting), and No. 2 in Overall Diversity, Minority Diversity, and LGBTQ Diversity. Fellow Big 4 firm Deloitte ranks No. 2 in both the Accounting 50 and Prestige, and takes the No. 2 spot in the all-important Formal Training category. Meanwhile, KPMG ranks No. 3 in the Accounting 50 and No. 1 in Formal Training.

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The Top 10 Firms in the Vault Accounting 50 Based on Vault’s Annual Accounting Survey Are:

  1. PwC
  2. Deloitte
  3. KPMG
  4. BDO USA
  5. lante Moran
  6. Baker Tilly
  7. RSM
  8. Moss Adams
  9. CohnReznick
  10. Friedman

Accounting 50 Methodology

Earlier this year, Vault asked more than 10,000 accounting professionals to rate their own firms in various Quality of Life Categories (such as Firm Culture, Hours, Compensation, and Work/Life Balance). They were also asked to rate their peer firms in terms of Prestige (accountants couldn’t rate their own firms and were asked to only rate those firms with which they were familiar). The Accounting 50 is compiled using a weighted formula based on the following: 35 percent Prestige, 20 percent Firm Culture, 10 percent Satisfaction, 10 percent Compensation, 10 percent Work/Life Balance, 5 percent Business Outlook, 5 percent Formal Training, and 5 percent Informal Training.

No. 1 PwC Is the "Clear-cut Global Leader in Knowledge and Technology"

Accountants at peer firms tell us that PwC, which again ranks No. 1 in both the Accounting 50 and our Prestige Rankings, is the “most prestigious Big 4,” “innovative and impressive,” and the “clear-cut global leader in knowledge and technology.” Meanwhile, PwC insiders very much appreciate “working with very intelligent, ambitious, talented coworkers—the caliber of people at PwC is unsurpassed in the industry.” They also rave about the schedule flexibility and work/life balance, and say they get to work with “great clients” and are treated to “a lot of training and growth opportunities.” At PwC, "you work with the best companies in the world.”

“PwC dominates our rankings yet again,” says Vault Senior Finance Editor Derek Loosvelt. “The firm doesn’t rest on its laurels. Along with continuing to land the biggest, most complex clients, PwC has become the leader in training its staff in AI and other innovative technology. It has an excellent ‘Digital Upskilling’ program for its staff, and continues to improve its diversity and inclusion initiatives. There’s little doubt that PwC is the solid number-one firm in the accounting industry.”

No. 2 Deloitte Is an “Established, Excellent, Trustworthy Firm”

This year, accountants at peer firms tell us that Deloitte, which ranks No. 2 in the Vault Accounting 50 and No. 2 in Prestige, is the “global leader in audit and consulting,” “established and improving,” and an “excellent, trustworthy firm.” Meanwhile, Deloitte staff members rave about the “great culture and talented, brilliant people”— “there are so many opportunities to learn from some of the best in the industry.” They also praise the “work schedule flexibility” and “growth opportunities”—staff are “exposed to the largest and most complex clients, markets, and issues.”

No. 3 KPMG Is a “Great Place to Start a Career”

As for KPMG, which ranks No. 3 in the Vault Accounting 50 and No. 4 in Prestige, peers say it’s a “prestigious and exceptional firm,” “a great place to start a career,” and “reinventing itself.” KPMG insiders rave about the “amazing culture and exceptionally intelligent and motivated people.” They also praise the “flexibility outside of busy season,” and say the “learning, training, and growth opportunities are unbeatable,” underscoring the firm’s No. 1 ranking in Formal Training.

No. 5 Plante & Moran and No.11 Schellman Are Best for Quality of Life

Michigan-based Plante Moran rises three places top take the No. 5 spot in the Accounting 50, thanks to its strong showing in the Quality of Life Rankings. The firm ranks No. 1 in Business Outlook, Hours, Travel Requirements, Vacation Policies, and Work/Life Balance, and No. 2 in Benefits, Client Interaction, Culture, Informal Training, Promotion Policies, and Overall Satisfaction. Peer accountants say Plante Moran is a “very good technical firm,” with a “great culture.” The firm’s staff tell us that Plante Moran has an “amazing culture and great coworkers”— “everyone is willing to help you out.”

A newcomer to our survey and rankings this year, Florida-based Schellman & Co., which ranks No. 11 in the Vault Accounting 50, is another big winner in our Quality of Life Rankings. Schellman ranks No. 1 in Benefits, Client Interaction, Compensation, Culture, Firm Leadership, Hiring Process, Internal Mobility, Relationships with Supervisors, and Overall Satisfaction, and No. 2 in Business Outlook and CSR Initiatives. It also sweeps the Diversity Rankings, ranking No. 1 in Overall Diversity, Female Diversity, Minority Diversity, and LGBTQ Diversity. Schellman insiders tell us that the firm has a “team-oriented culture,” with “smart, motivated, friendly coworkers.” Among the best aspects of working for the firm are the “compensation and benefits,” and “training and client engagement opportunities.”

Vault’s Accounting Quality of Life Rankings Winners

  • Benefits: Schellman & Co.
  • Business Outlook: Plante Moran
  • Client Interaction: Schellman & Co.
  • Compensation: Schellman & Co.
  • CSR Initiatives: Brown Smith Wallace
  • Culture: Schellman & Co.
  • Diversity (Overall): Schellman & Co.
  • Diversity (Minorities): Schellman & Co.
  • Diversity (Women): Schellman & Co.
  • Diversity (LGBTQ): Schellman & Co.
  • Firm Leadership: Schellman & Co.
  • Formal Training: KPMG
  • Hiring Process: Schellman & Co.
  • Hours: Plante Moran
  • Informal Training: Frank, Rimerman + Co.
  • Internal Mobility: Schellman & Co.
  • Promotion Policies: PKF O’Connor Davies
  • Relationships with Supervisors: Schellman & Co.
  • Satisfaction: Schellman & Co.
  • Travel Requirements: Plante Moran
  • Vacation Policies: Plante Moran
  • Work/Life Balance: Plante Moran

Vault’s Accounting Practice Area Rankings Winners

  • Audit & Assurance Accounting: PwC
  • Tax Accounting: PwC
  • Forensic Accounting: PwC

The Vault Accounting 50 Rankings, Accounting Prestige Rankings, Accounting Quality of Life Rankings, and Accounting Practice Area Rankings can be found at: (the new rankings will not be live until April 14, 2020).

Top Accounting Firms Respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Along with the latest rankings, Vault has published new profiles of top accounting firms. In addition to employee feedback from our annual survey, these profiles include information from firms on how they’re responding to the coronavirus pandemic with new initiatives such as remote-work policies, virtual interview policies, and internship and full-time hiring policies.

About Vault

Vault is best known for its influential rankings, ratings, and reviews on thousands of top employers and hundreds of internship programs. On, recent graduates entering the workforce and professionals considering a job or career change can research background information about companies, schools, internships, and industries. They can search for current job openings and find essential advice on resumes, interviews, networking, and more to help them launch or build their careers.

Vault provides detailed information on nearly 5,000 companies in more than 120 industries. Vault also provides extensive information on more than 840 professions. This includes education requirements, skill requirements, salaries, advancement prospects, and more. In addition, Vault publishes numerous employer, career, and interviewing guidebooks in industries such as law, consulting, investment banking, accounting, investment management, private equity, hedge funds, Internet and social media, IT and engineering, energy, health care, advertising, and more. Vault was founded in 1996. It is headquartered in New York, N.Y.

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Jacob Wolinsky is the founder of, a popular value investing and hedge fund focused investment website. Jacob worked as an equity analyst first at a micro-cap focused private equity firm, followed by a stint at a smid cap focused research shop. Jacob lives with his wife and four kids in Passaic NJ. - Email: jacob(at) - Twitter username: JacobWolinsky - Full Disclosure: I do not purchase any equities anymore to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest and because at times I may receive grey areas of insider information. I have a few existing holdings from years ago, but I have sold off most of the equities and now only purchase mutual funds and some ETFs. I also own a few grams of Gold and Silver

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